Sunday, 1 February 2015

February 2015 Mammal of the Month - The Wood mouse


February's mammal of the month is a bit easier to spot than January's otter. This month's star is the Wood mouse. 

This is the mouse you're most likely to see in most parts of Berkshire, including urban areas, and by far the most common species that we find in our live trapping surveys. Please record any sightings via the BMG records page  - we really appreciate all of your records and don't forget, it's not just sightings of the mammal of the month that we're after but any sightings or signs of any wild mammal.
Photo Credit: Becky Thomas
Our top facts for the wood mouse are:
  1. They can be easily distinguished from field and bank voles by the size of their ears - as you can see from the photo they are rather large. Those of voles are hardly visible in comparison. Check out the Mammal Society info here for other species that they could be confused with and how to tell them apart.
  2. They are prolific breeders! The usual season is March to October but can be all year round if there is enough food. Females are able to get pregnant again very soon after each litter.
  3. They store food in caches in underground burrows
  4. They nest together in groups over the winter
  5. They are an important source of food for many other species - anything from foxes to owls (and of course pet cats!) will eat them.

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